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Featuring nearly 70 students of the Hungarian National Ballet Institute, the Hungarian State Opera's own ballet school, the fairy-tale ballet Little Sleeping Beauty premiered at the Eiffel Art Studios on 6 May 2023.  The production directed by artistic director Radina Dace, was created in partnership between the OPERA and the Hungarian National Ballet Institute Foundation, with the support of the State Secretariat for Culture of the Ministry of Culture and Innovation and the National Cultural Fund of Hungary.

Continuing a series that started in 2020 with Little Swan Lake, the Hungarian National Ballet Institute (HNBI) has now transformed Tchaikovsky's second grand ballet into a version easily comprehensible by preschoolers and primary school students. The two-act performance introduces children to the beautiful world of classical ballet.

The audience success is based on an original choreography by Marius Petipa with contemporary elements substituting the scenes of the evil Carabosse and her entourage and an insertion a tap dance by Gulliver and the Lilliputians to showcase the variety of the education at the Institute. The students were trained by ballet masters Olga Chernakova, Zsófia Gyarmati, Dmitrij Taraszovics Kirejko, Katalin Kőszegi, Albert Mirzoyan, Tamara Pavlova, Dace Radina (classical ballet), Dénes Kovács (tap dance), and Adrienn Vetési (modern dance). The spectacular show features new costumes by Nóra Rományi, while it uses sets from previous productions designed by Attila Csikós. The narration connecting the dance scenes are performed by opera singers Bori Keszei and Eszter Zavaros.

The 70 students featuring in the production are between the ages of 7 and 18, and they are joined by grand sujet Miyu Takamori / semi-soloist Elena Shapirova, and corps de ballet members Mattheus Bäckström Viachaslau Hnedchyk, dancers of the Hungarian National Ballet as the adult Aurora and Florimund, respectively.

The performances in the entire 2023 run are sold out, tickets for the 2024 series are on sale.

The creation of the performance was supported by the State Secretariat for Culture of the Ministry of Culture and Innovation and the National Cultural Fund following the tenders of the Foundation for Ballet Students of the Hungarian State Opera. The Foundation would like to express its gratitude to former secretaries of state for culture Péter Fekete and Péter Hoppál, as well as Balázs Bús, vice-president of the National Cultural Fund for supporting the production.

Photo by Attila Nagy